February 18, 2010

Racine's Welsh heritage to be celebrated March 7

Mayor John Dickert signed a proclamation this week designating March 1-7 as Welsh Heritage Week, as the members of the St. David’s Society of Racine & Vicinity announced plans for their annual St. David’s Day Celebration on March 7.

This year promises to be an especially festive occasion, as Dafydd Wigley, right -- a descendant of Racine’s D.P. Wigley and a prominent Welsh politician -- has accepted an invitation to speak. He was a leader of the Welsh HPlaid Cymru party, and is now Pro-Chancellor of the University of Wales.

The mayor’s proclamation acknowledges the major roles people of Welsh descent played in the city’s 175-year history, including David Paynter Wigley from Rhos Goch, Wales, who established the D.P. Wigley Company in 1895, and Mayors T. Gleason Morris (1939-1943) and N. Owen Davies (1987-1995).

The St. David’s Day Celebration will take place at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 40 Ohio St. The event, which will include the society’s 121st annual meeting, a Gymanfa Ganu (Welsh hymn sing) and performances by the 2010 St. David’s Society music scholarship winners, will also feature family heritage tables prepared by society members.

The church will celebrate its Welsh heritage during the 8 and 10 a.m. worship services and St. David’s Society members will serve kringle and punch to worshipers after the service in the church’s Gathering Space. The annual meeting will begin at 11:30 a.m. No reservations or cost is required for these activities.

The reception will begin at approximately 12:45 p.m., with guests encouraged to mingle and enjoy the hors d’oeurves prepared by the Red Onion. Reservations are due by Feb. 28 to Sue Evans, (262) 633-7819. The cost is $10 per person for adults, $5 each for children 3-11 and free for children up to age 3. For more information about the event, including participating in the family heritage tables, contact Dick Myers at (414) 228-7466.

In addition, Mark and Chris Flynn, owners of D.P. Wigley, 234 Wisconsin Ave., will host a Welsh House Party after the celebration at the church. Those wishing to attend are asked to call (262) 633-8239.


  1. Excellent! The Welsh are some of my favorite people. At my Welsh Aunt Muffy's home, there was always music galore.

  2. Don't forget the stories about King Arthur and Merlin. And we mustn't omit King Arthur's royal bard, Taliesen.

  3. Then there were the pasties. Aunt Muffy's beef pasties were delicious. (Unfortunately, I could never get her recipe. Also, if anybody knows the difference between Welsh pasties and their Cornish cousins, please tell me.)

  4. Getting back to King Arthur, both the English and the Welsh claim him. Can anybody tell me who King Arthur really was? Lots of kids in my neighborhood would like to learn about him.

  5. My Aunt Muffy used to prepare a tasty leek soup in honor of Saint David's Day. If anyone has a recipe for Welsh leek soup and graciously wishes to share it, I'll be extremely grateful.

  6. Also, does the dish called Welsh rabbit/ Welsh rare bit really exist? If so--and if it's authentically Welsh--is there a recipe available? Many thanks!

  7. Chris at DP Wigley2/21/2010 5:46 PM

    There are lots of recipes for Welsh Rarebit and leek soup online.

    Here's a link to watch James Barber make Welsh Rarebit, ready to eat in about 5 minutes.


    Here's another recipe:



    * 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    * 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    * 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    * 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    * 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    * 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    * 1/2 cup porter beer
    * 3/4 cup heavy cream
    * 6 ounces (approximately 1 1/2 cups) shredded Cheddar
    * 2 drops hot sauce
    * 4 slices toasted rye bread


    In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and whisk in the flour. Cook, whisking constantly for 2 to 3 minutes, being careful not to brown the flour. Whisk in mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper until smooth. Add beer and whisk to combine. Pour in cream and whisk until well combined and smooth. Gradually add cheese, stirring constantly, until cheese melts and sauce is smooth; this will take 4 to 5 minutes. Add hot sauce. Pour over toast and serve immediately.

    No rabbit at all!

  8. Dear Chris, Many, many thanks! Enjoy a Very Happy Saint David's Day!

  9. One of the little girls in my neighborhood loves dragons. Somehow she heard that the Welsh have a magnificent red dragon on their national crest. Is this story true? Also, if the red dragon is the Welsh mascot, she'd like to know how and why he got that job.

  10. http://www.flags-flags-flags.org.uk/welsh-flag.htm

    I can't for the life of me figure out how to paste the copy of the Welsh Flag and its beautiful dragon in this space.

    The Flag has two equal horizontal bands - white on top and green on the bottom, with the red dragon over all.
    According to Ancient and Heraldic traditions, the symbolism of the colors on the Welsh flag represent the following:

    * White - peace and honesty
    * Red - hardiness, bravery, strength & valor
    * Green - hope, joy and love

    The Welsh dragon IS magnificent. I love dragons too, and I imagine he got the job because he is honest, brave, and loving.

  11. Many, many thanks for the information on the magnificent Welsh Red Dragon! I'm sure the young lady will love the story. Enjoy a glorious Saint David's Day!

  12. The little girl adored the story of her new friend, the magnificent Welsh Red Dragon. She now has a picture of him too. Many many thanks for making a young lady very happy!

  13. Chris ar DP Wigley2/26/2010 12:09 PM

    Perhaps you'd like to bring her to our Welsh House Party at DP Wigley at 2:30 on Sun, March 7th to meet a real Welshman and see a real Welsh flag and red dragon. You are most welcome to join us. :-)

  14. Had a wonderful time in Racine today, celebrating St. David and all things Welsh! If your seriously interested in Welsh-American activities, visit www.nafow.org for info on the annual North American Festival of Wales!